This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matt. 1:1, NIV)
These are the first words of the New Testament, the firsts words of the first telling of the Christmas story. What I want you to note is that it does not begin with, “Once upon a time…”
This is not a fairy tale. It is a report of what really happened, to real people, in real time, at a real place.
Fairy tales are wonderful. From Hansel and Gretel to Cinderella, they are enchanting morality takes meant to make a point, to teach us something. They are good advice.
The Christmas story is not good advice. It is a report to us of events that actually took place. For unto you is born this day … a savior, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 KJV)
In 1961 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human into space. Then Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev proclaimed to the world that Yuri looked out of the window of his space craft and did not see God. It was carried by newspapers around the world. It was a declaration of atheism.
From the desk of a professor of medieval literature in England came a response, one carried in newspaper across most of the world. C. S. Lewis, one of the greatest Christian minds of the 20th century, wrote an essay called, “The Seeing Eye.” He wrote, of course Yuri did not see God. This is not how God and humanity relate. It’s not like the guy on the first floor looking up and seeing the guy on the second floor.
Rather, Lewis wrote, the relationship between God and humanity is more like that between Shakespeare and Hamlet. Hamlet is a character in one of Shakespeare’s plays. Shakespeare created Hamlet and the entire world of Hamlet. Shakespeare knows everything there is to know about Hamlet, but Hamlet can know nothing about Shakespeare, unless Shakespeare writes himself into the drama.
You may be one of those people with very little drama in your life. It’s good to be you. I suspect that most of you and like me – there is drama. There is the drama of relationships that are going or have gone bad. There is the drama of more month than money. There is the drama of a lost job or of a career that just hasn’t worked out the way your dreamed. There is the drama of broken health. There is the drama of an empty seat at the table this Christmas.
Life is full of drama. You have no way of truly knowing God unless God writes himself into your drama. That is what the Christmas story is all about. God has written himself into the drama of human life.
The greatest miracle of all is the incarnation – God became flesh. This is the only hope we have to know God. You cannot look out of the window of a space craft and hope to see God. But you can look with eyes of faith into his Word and know him. As John wrote, “And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the father.” (John 1:14 KJV)
This is what Christmas is about. This is why for 32 years we have presented the Singing Christmas Tree. You’ll note there are no elves, no vision of sugar plums, no snow men – only songs about Jesus. He is the reason for the season.
He wants to enter into the drama of your life. Will you open your heart to Him, by faith?
Pastor’s Message at the 32nd Annual Singing Christmas Tree
Highland Baptist Church, Meridian, MS